The Boston Globe headline says it all: “Mass. House swiftly passes changes to firearms law, aiming to protect state’s strict gun control regime after Supreme Court decision.”
Long story short, anti-gun state legislators on Thursday are doing their level best to dance around the Supreme Court’s June 23 opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, striking down the “good cause” requirement to obtain a concealed carry permit. Instead, the newspaper reported, new legislation “would broaden who is prohibited from getting a license to carry, require gun owners to renew their licenses twice as often, and seek to mandate that a police official perform a ‘personal interview’ of anyone applying for a license.”
Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) told Liberty Park Press Friday, “This is an unconscionable act of a now-unrepresentative government.”
He was not even advised the legislation—tacked onto another bill as an amendment—was going to be introduced and discussed.
“We didn’t even get a heads up that they were doing this,” Wallace said. “Not even the courtesy of a phone call. I learned about it from a reporter.
“In my 25 years of working the legislature this is the biggest slap in the face I’ve ever gotten,” the furious Wallace said via telephone. “I didn’t even get a phone call.”
Passage of the language could see an immediate backlash. GOAL has scheduled a Civil Rights Restoration Lobby Day Wednesday, July 27. Wallace acknowledged the initial reaction from GOAL members was “tepid.”
“But I think that’s about to change,” the veteran gun rights advocate stated.
GOAL had proposed its own legislation, but Wallace said it had not yet been given a bill number.
The gun control language includes a provision to cut in half the effective period of a license to carry, from six years down to three. Wallace said the license will still carry the same fee, possibly putting it out of some budgets because of the more frequent renewal requirement.
“Even if it’s a renewal,” Wallace complained, “you have to do an in-person interview. For What? Some of the cities will make you wait six to eight months just to get an appointment. They can’t handle a six-year licensing system and now they changed it to three, and it is still $100.”
While the Bruen ruling struck down the “good cause” requirement, Massachusetts can still allow police to determine “suitability” of applicants, which Wallace says is equally arbitrary.
“So,” he observed, “it was a shell game.”
The Boston Globe report intimated litigation could be on the horizon, something Wallace did not mention.